Review: Fulla 2 from Schiit
Apart from the funny name, Schiit audio is creating some of the most popular audio equipment on the market. One of those popular products is the Schiit Fulla 2, a DAC/AMP combo priced at a mere \$99.
A DAC/AMP is a nice solution if you want to upgrade your pc audio from the onboard audio to something a bit fancier. It takes your audio equipment out of your noisy Pc-case and puts it in a sleek USB package. The combo package also cranks up the quality of the sound and gives you the possibility to use somewhat higher end headphones with a higher impedance than your onboard audio. So this device is not exactly something you would use for your bargain bin IEM's, but rather for those high-end AKGs or Senheisers.
The package itself is not premium at all, even though the Fulla 2 is. The simple cardboard that Schiit chose to use as packaging is a bit underwhelming. Inside the packaging, things don't exactly get better. A simple, low quality, manual consisting of two pages greets you. The Fulla 2 itself greets you in a simple plastic bag.
If you're going by packaging alone, the Fulla 2 looks like a dud but once you connect it things rapidly pick up.
I'm using this setup with Bose Quiet Comfort 25s, which isn't the best case scenario for the Fulla 2 but you can see it as an average use case. I'm measuring it against my onboard motherboard audio (on my x370 Prime pro) and my 'old' Soundblaster Z.
Comparing the three in terms of pure audio quality is a bit hard. Everyone has different ears and it's clear that not everyone likes the same sound signature. So speaking from a strictly subjective point of view I can say that the Fulla 2 really does deliver when it comes to audio quality. The difference between the Fulla 2 in terms of audio quality compared to motherboard audio is clear. The Fulla delivers much fuller audio, with much more detail.
The difference between the Soundblaster Z and the Fulla 2, however, is not as stark. The difference in quality will be unnoticeable for non-audiophiles. Especially if you're using 'normal' headphones. If you start using those high-end AKGs you've always wanted, the difference might be more noticeable.
Coming from the Soundblaster Z, I'd imagine that you might feel that you didn't get much of an upgrade. However, the driver support from Creative is, to say the least, atrocious. The Fulla 2 comes without any software. Yup, no software, and no drivers. Just plug and play.
The Fulla 2 can also function as a pure AMP or DAC/AMP for your mobile device. However, you will need to power the Fulla as there isn't a battery included in the package. This means that you'll need a power bank or an outlet to make it work.
Schiit warns you though that mobile devices are problematic sources to use, so your mileage may vary.
The Fulla 2 puts a together a compelling set of features in one compact package. It isn't the solution to all your audiophile needs, but at it's \$99 price point it can't be. What it is, is a nice upgrade if you are stuck on motherboard audio.
After some two weeks of listening to the Fulla 2, I'm not blown away by the difference with the Soundblaster Z. But having no clunky software to deal with, really makes for a lot better experience. So as a direct replacement, it might not be a huge upgrade but in terms of usability, the Fulla 2 kills it.